Tag Archives: dairy

Micro Dairy

12 Sep

This year I’ve gotten more milk from my girls than I have had for quite some time.  As I continue to start milking girls with more dairy blood in them and their copper levels improve, I’m hoping their milk production continues to improve too (yeah, copper really does mess with everything like this).  Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep milking longer into the winter as well.

Ava

Every time I post on Facebook about making cheese or people just learn I make cheese, they always ask if I’m selling it.  As I’ve gotten more consistent in my cheesmaking results, it’s started me thinking.  Maybe I should.

feta frozen for winter use

I contacted the Dept. of Agriculture and had them send me guidelines for being able to sell my cheese.  It took about two minutes of reading to realize I will never be licensed to sell my dairy products.

peach yogurt

To start, it costs $800 for a two-year license.  If you figure a generous average of $10 income (not profit) for each gallon of milk processed into cheese, that would be eighty batches of cheese just to pay for the license without subtracting for inputs to make the cheese.

1 gallon milk = 2 cups Mozzarella

Then there are phrases like “approved pasteurization system.”  It’s not further defined, but the cheapest one-gallon home pasteurizing machine I could find was just over $500.  The commercial ones start at $1100 and go into the tens of thousands.  Right now this is my pasteurizing system.  It works.

They also assume you will be building a brand new building for processing.  That adds probably another $50,000 (conservatively) to the cost.  Things like automatically closing doors are not cheap.

Dolly

The thing is, their idea of small is still so large you would have to make so much cheese that you’d not be able to have one person doing it.  It would have to be full time and with hired help.  That means more cost on top of the ridiclous amount spent on the new building and not being able to have an off-farm job.  It would require more goats to be milked.

Astra and Xerxes

If you want to take the product to a farmer’s market, there’s the requirements and licensing of the vehicle used for hauling dairy products too.  There is no feasible way to be able to sell your extra product without working full time forever to simply break even.  That means my family is probably going to be gifted with lots of cheese.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of regulations.  I know there are things that I would have to change about my current system for me to even be comfortable with it.  Pasteurizing in of utmost importance, and I’d have to have my goats tested for communicable disease.

The nothing or full industry regulations just seems to be overkill.  The odd thing is that anyone can sell eggs direct to consumer with no regulations whatsoever.  Same with veggies or fruits they’ve grown.  These foods are more likely to give someone food poisoning than my safe pasteurized dairy products. [1]

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Testing My Feta

9 Oct

I finally got around to trying a recipe for the feta cheese I made.

I decided to try a Greek Orzo Salad (recipe linked).

I have to say, it was pretty easy to make.

It was pretty good after I let is sit overnight, but I do think I might try a few changes next time.  I’ve already decided the feta was delicious enough that I’ve made another batch.  I am so glad cheese freezes well.

Time to Quit

27 Oct

As much as Dolly is a sweet girl and I enjoy milking her, it’s time to quit.  She is drying up, which isn’t a bad thing.  She’s due to kid on February 1st.

Dolly Ann Street

Dolly Ann Street

For comparison, here’s what I got when I milked Cinnamon tonight.

milk_7012ews

And here’s what Dolly gave me.

milk_7015ews

In case you can’t see very well, here it is after I filtered Dolly’s milk.

milk_7017ews

And here’s when I add the other three girls’ milk too.  I’m down to just a quart a day with my milking.

milk_7018ews

I do think it’s time for me to go to milking three goats instead of four.

doe-eating_7014ews

But Dolly still says she’d like to come in and eat.  Please.

I hope you’ll come back and join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s items at the top of my side bar.